A Book A Week Challenge- Week 6

2014 Man Booker Prize winner ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ was a story of ambition and even more was a story of Hope. Primarily set in the backdrop of Australians suffering in Japanese POWs back in 1960s when forced to work on The Line to build what later called ‘Death Railway’, the novel expands its scope throughout the lifetime of Dorrigo Evans.

132.Richard Flanagan-The Narrow Road To The Deep North cover

Book #: 6

Title: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Pages: 448

The title is derived from a Japanese classic novel by Basho

The protagonist goes back and forth on quoting ‘Ulysses’ and doesn’t shy off naming it the book he would have read a millionth time.

The novel was inspired by the author’s father own life reminiscences.

Since the book moves back and forth in time, it takes sometime for the reader to actively follow which phase of the life was being narrated. Once you get into the mood of the story and get through a section or two, it turns to be a simple reading. You would appreciate the incredible skill of author to narrate different time frames with such an ease.

If you are an aspiring writer, pick the fundamentals from this book.

Split into 5 sections separated by a poem sets the mood of upcoming section brilliantly.

The protagonist had to fight an intense conflict within himself than the external physical strain that he or his countrymen encounter- his acts and thoughts often contradict.

He is a flawed one, who adulterates women and at the same time he is a hero for all those people who look up to him.

The closing chapters of the book narrates a poem that summarizes the life of Dorrigo but you can’t escape yourself from associating it with yours own.

My Purpose holds:

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars until I die

Life is: 

Little remains; but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

And this grey spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought

It makes you think of your purpose and much more about the minimal appreciation we have towards our own existence. This book totally deserved the appreciation it needed.

448 pages and never put down. I would love to go back and read one more time, probably at some point later, only to appreciate the writing.

Why at the beginning of things is there always light? – Hope

Why at the end of things is there always light? – Joy


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